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What are the different ways of organising sockets?

What are the different ways of organising sockets

Keeping your sockets well organised and labelled will make finding the right one easier. There are four main ways of organising sockets: plastic mouldings, socket rails and clips, socket peg trays and foam inserts.

 

Keeping your sockets well organised is just one way to extend the life of your tools, for more tips and tricks look at Care and Maintenance of Sockets.

Socket Rails and Clips

Metal and Plastic Clips for sockets

 Socket rails and clips are made of either chrome plated steel or plastic. Socket rails and clips allow sockets of the corresponding drive size to be stored securely.

Socket rails and clips make adding new sockets easy

Socket rails and clips allow you to easily add more sockets to your tool collection. This enables you to add new sockets as and when you need or can afford them.

Metal Socket Rails and Clips

Mixed up sockets without labeling or organisation

Socket rails and clips are made of chrome plated steel. The clip grips the inside of the sockets drive square socket holding it on the rail.

Advantages and Disadvantages

List of advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

 

Less expensive than plastic rails and clips.

 

Less likely to lose their grip of sockets over time.

Disadvantages

 

No size labels make it hard to find the socket you are looking for.

Plastic Socket Rails and Clips

Socket rails colour coded for metric and imperial

By having two rails of different colours, it is easy to separate your metric and imperial sockets. This saves time when it comes to identifying which size of socket you need.

Ratchet and extension bar socket

Another advantage of plastic socket rails and clips is that you can get special clips that will also hold socket accessories such as ratchets and extension bars.

Advantages and Disadvantages

List of advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

 

Rattle less that metal clips when used to transport sockets in a vehicle.

 

Can be colour coded for metric and imperial sets.

 

Size labels for each clip help keep sockets in order.

 

Special clips for socket accessories such as ratchets are available.

Disadvantages

 

More expensive than metal clips and rails.

Grip on sockets may become loose over time if the plastic wears with frequent use.

Magnetic Socket Rails

Magnetic Socket Rails

Some socket rails have magnets on the back which allow them to stick to tool chests and other metal objects.

Non-magnetic aluminium socket chest

If you plan on attaching the socket rail to the side of your tool chest, check that it is not made of aluminium first. As aluminium is not magnetic, a magnetic socket rail will not attach to it.

Foam Inserts

Foam inserts in a socket case

Foam inserts can be purchased separately for use in toolboxes and chests, or supplied already fitted to some socket set cases.

Vehicle fitted with tool boxes

The foam is cut to perfectly fit the sockets and other tools, so foam inserts are ideally suited for transporting tools in vehicles, as they provide a tight secure grip of the socket eliminating any movement or rattle.

Socket bits stored with screwdriver bits

Foam inserts can also be used to store and organise screwdriver bits, and other socket accessories.

Plastic Moulded Trays

Plastic moulding tray

Plastic moulded trays can be either an integral part of a case, or purchased separately as insert trays for use in workshop drawers and toolboxes. Plastic moulded trays for storing sockets are made in the same way as plastic socket cases using injection moulding or vacuum forming.

 

For more information see our page on What are the different types of socket storage cases?

Other Methods of Storing and Labelling Sockets

Socket Peg Trays

Socket Peg Trays

Socket peg trays are made of hard, rigid plastic. They have a flat base, with vertical posts which the sockets are slid on to. Each post has the socket head size marked on it to help you identify and locate each socket.

Advantages and Disadvantages

List of advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

 

Cheaper than socket rails.

 

Sizes for each socket are marked on the pegs, making identification easier.

Disadvantages

 

Not suitable for transporting sockets in a vehicle.

Cannot be mounted vertically on a wall as they do not grip the sockets.

Socket Tags

Different socket tags available

Socket tags fit inside the socket so that they are clearly visible when looking at the socket from above.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages

Socket tags fit inside the socket so that they are clearly visible when looking at the socket from above.

Advantages

 

Clearly visible when looking into the socket head.

Disadvantages

 

Only suitable for sockets which are stored standing upright.

Cannot be used to label socket bits as there is no female recess in the socket head to place them.

Labeling Stickers

Labeling stickers for socket sets

Labelling stickers are available, and have a strong adhesive backing so they can be stuck to the outside of a socket or anywhere else you may want to label, such as the underside of a socket rail or the plastic of a moulded tray. Unlike socket tags, labelling stickers can be used to label socket bits as well.

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